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Tech Tuesday: Saving Layouts in Scrivener

You already know you can create project templates in Scrivener, but did you know you can also save multiple layout settings? Honestly, mine are kind of boring. I pretty much stick to one layout and toggle between that and full screen mode. However, after Keith and David put out a call for user layouts recently, I realized that there are as many layout preferences as there are Scrivener users.

Here's how to set up and save yours.

  1. Set up your screen in the layout you want to save. This includes the binder, editor, outliner, corkboard, and inspector visibility, as well as the size of each.
  2. From the View menu, choose Layout, Show Layouts (or Shift+Cmd+) ).
  3. Click the + button at the bottom left of the dialog window.
  4. Give your layout a title and description, and check all of the settings you want to save.
  5. Click Save.

Now, if you mess around with your screen layout and want to get back to your preferred layout quickly…

  1. From the View menu, choose Layout, Show Layouts.
  2. Select the layout you want in the list on the left, and choose Set.

To delete a layout:

  1. From the View menu, choose Layout, Show Layouts.
  2. Select the layout from the list on the left, and click the – button.

You can export layouts to share.

  1. From the View menu, choose Layout, Show Layouts.
  2. Select the layout to export from the list on the left.
  3. Click on the Manage… dropdown arrow.
  4. Choose Export Selected Layout, and save it as desired.

You can also import layouts from your friends.

  1. From the View menu, choose Layout, Show Layouts.
  2. Click on the Manage… dropdown arrow.
  3. Choose Import Layout, select the desired layout file, and click Open.
  4. The imported layout will now be visible in the list on the left.

The best part is, these layouts are now available for all of your Scrivener projects. For more information about Layouts, see the Scrivener Help under Windows & Panels, The Layouts Panel. Or check out the Scrivener Online Support page.

Need more help? Sign up for an online class, read more Scrivener articles, or schedule a private training session. If you don't already have it, you can download Scrivener here.

Write on!

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  1. Reply

    Thanks for this info, Gwen. As usual, the flexibility and downright usefulness that has been built into this app continues to surprise and delight.

    BTW, is there a place where people post layouts to share?

  2. Reply

    Thanks for this Gwen. I have been using Scrivener for just over 6 months and I was not aware that this feature was in there. I still cannot believe that such a flexible, usable, stable program is available. It is just a joy to use. I have recently got an external screen for my macbook, making Scrivener even more usable. I am going to experiment with different layouts for different screen sizes.

    • Reply

      Glad to help, John. I’ve been using Scrivener since last August and I’m still finding great features I didn’t know about.

      The extra monitor is a great idea. I use mine especially when I’m in revision mode. I can have full-screen on the monitor and my regular layout on the laptop. It’s also good for reviewing my critique partner’s comments on one screen and making changes on the other, or for referencing research and notes.

      Good luck with your writing!

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